Europe

Today is the centenary anniversary of the death of John Maclean, a dedicated Marxist and class fighter, famous for playing a leading role in militant workers’ movements such as Red Clydeside in Glasgow. We pay tribute to his revolutionary legacy.

Mechanics at Tesla's 10 workshops in Sweden have been on strike since 27 October: the first of its kind at the EV giant. The action was taken after the Swedish industrial union IF Metall told its members to down tools in response to the electric car giant refusing to sign a collective bargaining agreement in a move derided by CEO (and world’s richest man) Elon Musk as “insane”. 

Next month, on 9 December, Britain's Trades Union Congress will meet for a special congress to decide its response to the government’s latest draconian anti-strike legislation. The trade union movement must mobilise to defy the Tories, and to smash the bosses’ laws.

On 22 November, Dutch and European capitalism were shaken by an earthquake, as the party of the far-right demagogue Geert Wilders came first in the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, with almost a quarter of the vote. What do communists make of this development?

Shocking scenes have rocked Dublin. Far-right goons – showing their true, putrid colours – have used the stabbing of five people outside a school, including three children, to blame migrants and whip up mob violence. These events must be a wake up call: the left and the labour movement have been caught napping. The gloves must come off in the fight against the far right.

As with the war in Ukraine, different communist parties around the world have taken different and even opposite positions regarding the current Israeli bloodbath in Gaza after the 7 October Hamas attack. The stance of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is one of principled support for the struggle of the Palestinian people, far removed from other communist parties, which have succumbed to the pressure of bourgeois public opinion. However, there are several aspects of the KKE position on Palestine/Israel we disagree with, and which we think are at odds with a genuine communist position. 

Throughout the self-proclaimed ‘civilised’ western world, the ruling classes have banded together to denounce Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October and have rallied around Israel’s ‘right of self-defence’ as it bombs Gaza to smithereens. But this is not the first time we have been told to accept a bloody war against an oppressed people in the name of the oppressor nation’s ‘self-defence’.

Bourgeois democracy in Austria is in a senile crisis. Like in other countries in Europe, the Hamas attacks of 7 October have been used to whip up a reactionary mood. Muslim migrants and the communists of Der Funke (the IMT in Austria) are at the centre of these political attacks, with reformist leaders of Social Democracy and Communist Party actively persecuting party members who stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.

This year’s Revolution Festival in Britain was an event like none other. One thousand communists from across the world gathered for an inspiring, historic event, energised by the momentous next step: launching the Revolutionary Communist Party. If you're in Britain, join our comrades in this venture!

On the weekend of 4 and 5 November, der Funke, the Swiss section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), held its 2023 Marxist Autumn School. The theme of this year’s school was The Road to Communism, and the weekend proved that communists have a plan and are bursting with drive.

The crisis in NUPES – the ‘union’ consisting of La France Insoumise (FI), the Socialist Party (PS), the Greens and the Communist Party (PCF) – is increasingly taking on the air of a bedroom farce: shouting, declamations, doors opening, slammed, and then opened again, etc. Boredom mixed with irritation is spreading among the audience, and little by little the auditorium is emptying.

Since the current Socialist Party (PS) government came to power with a majority in January 2022, it has been a government of crisis, plagued with scandals, intrigues, and resignations. Now António Costa, the PM himself, has resigned following an investigation by the Supreme Court, which led to his own official residence being raided by the police, as well as government buildings and private residences. Several businessmen, CEOs, the mayor of Sines, and António Costa's chief of staff have been arrested. It appears that João Galamba, the Infrastructure Minister, will be indicted, as well as Duarte Cordeiro, the Environment Minister. António Costa himself might be indicted as well.

IMT comrades in Modena, Italy (Sinistra Classe e Rivoluzione) organised a campaign inside the FIOM (metalworkers’ union of the CGIL) in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and in particular in support of an appeal issued by Palestinian trade union organisations. At a demonstration at the weekend, 2,000 workers and youth, both immigrant and native Italian, marched together in a lively demonstration, showing their full solidarity with the Palestinian people, calling for an end to the Israeli bombing and occupation.

The first months have been tough for Finland's new right-wing government. The administration, led by the National Coalition Party, has been rocked by repeated scandals over its anti-labour policies, and the racism of its right-wing populist partner, the True Finns. This has led to widespread protests across the country, and some of the smaller right-wing parties' MPs have begun to waver on their continued involvement. On 6 September, the government issued a statement against racism. Not only was it devoid of concrete anti-racist content, they’ve also snuck in a direct attack against communism.

Comrades of Socialist Appeal, the British section of the International Marxist Tendency, have been targeted by the police and the rest of the establishment for waging a determined campaign to build solidarity with the Palestinian people. We call on you to help us in this fight. Intifada until victory!